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COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference: Resources


COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference: Resources

COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference: Resources


Deliberations under the current session of the COP, CMP and CMA came to an end this Saturday in Glasgow, one day after their scheduled conclusion. The wide-ranging set of decisions, resolutions and statements that constitute the outcome of COP26 is the fruit of intense negotiations over the past two weeks, strenuous formal and informal work over many months, and constant engagement both in-person and virtually for nearly two years. The package adopted on 13 November 2021 is a global compromise that reflects a delicate balance between the interests and aspirations of nearly the 200 Parties to the core instruments on the international regime that governs global efforts against climate change.

On this page:

Glasgow UN Climate Change Conference COP26

Outcomes and reactions

COP26 Reaches Consensus on Key Actions to Address Climate Change (UN Climate Change)

CoP26: A ‘net nothing’ summit that the UN termed a global compromise (Down to Earth Magazine)

No breakthrough in Glasgow: Developed countries do not take responsibility for damage done (Care International)

Climate action can deliver a sustainable future for all: UN deputy chief (UN News)

COP26: Leaders’ catastrophic failure on climate shows they have forgotten who they should serve and protect – humanity at large (Amnesty International)

Draft outcome documents

pdf Glasgow Climate Pact: Proposal by the President (189 KB)

pdf Draft COP decision proposed by the President (121 KB)

pdf Draft CMA decision proposed by the President (140 KB)

pdf Draft COP decision on long term climate finance (78 KB)

pdf Gender and climate change: Draft conclusions proposed by the Chair (126 KB)

Climate-related reports

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Africa NDC Hub

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

United Nations Development Programme

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)

FAO and International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Christian Aid

United Nations Environment Programme

United Nations Environment Programme

Emissions Gap Report 2021

United Nations Environment Programme

Oxfam International


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

World Bank

COP 26 and Africa: in the news

Africa must finance its adaptation, $100 billion commitment or not, experts say (AfDB)

Climate finance for a transition away from coal: a chance to change history in South Africa (The Conversation)

Renewable energy in Africa: Update in the era of climate change (JD Supra)

COP26 Climate Summit Not Hearing Africa’s Concerns (OilPrice)

Is energy transition the answer to Africa’s climate change and socio-economic Development? What will it take for Africa to reach net-zero emissions? (African Union)

Group calls for realistic energy transition goals in Africa (Trade Arabia)

COP26: Africa’s Watershed Moment: building climate resilience requires a flood of investment in nature (AfDB)

Funding Africa’s $2.8tr net-zero transition by 2050 a ‘pressing issue’ (Engineering News)

The COP26 Africa Needs (Project Syndicate)

Daily highlights

tralac Analysis

Four outcomes stand out:

The first was interesting for the wrong reasons. It came when thirty countries promised to phase out petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2040 (though the US, China, Japan and Germany didn’t). A number of major manufacturers – including Ford, GM and Mercedes – have pledged commitments too (though many of the major firms, including VW and Toyota, didn’t). The appeal of oil based fuels is clear: they are energy dense, use well known technologies, and rely on existing infrastructures. Classic path dependence. Without American, Japanese and Chinese support, and with all the hedges in the pledges, and with the agreement being non-binding, one has to ask, ‘why was it received with such hoopla?’

The second was much more heartening: the US/China bilateral agreement. These are the two biggest emitters, and two countries with very different relationships between government and business. Although received with much acclaim, it’s worth noting that China said it would only begin to cut its coal consumption five years into the future, in the period 2026-30 (its next five year plan), while the US offered a fifteen year wait for totally carbon neutral electricity by 2035. More positively though, they did have fairly detailed agreements on methane, and a very detailed one on improving electricity reticulation to make fuller use of “low-cost intermittent renewable energy”, i.e., solar and wind power.

The third was the draft agreement process. The agreement itself looks, at first glance, like the usual collection of bland reaffirmations. So why did it have to go through three iterations during the week, and eventually run into extra-time on Saturday? There’s no doubt that the COP critics will describe it as a failure, so what was it that warranted such heated debate? All COP final statements require consensus, but even so, a few points stood out. One was section III on adaptation finance. This requires that, by 2025, developed countries should have doubled transfers intended to subsidise poorer nations’ adoption of low carbon technologies, as well as their mitigation of climate change’s impacts. Another, in which the interaction of public and private interests is especially close, is the dropping of subsidies to coal, oil and gas producers. When a product is attended by negative externalities, any subsidy is necessarily inefficient. So it was intriguing to see the pressure to change the text. The original, which called on parties to “accelerate the phasing out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels,” after opposition from China and India, finished the process as a call to accelerate the “phasing down of unabated coal power and of inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels.”

The fourth came late on Saturday 13th November, while the conference was well into extra time, and a Reuters headline advised: “Negotiators begin to close in on a deal to settle rules for carbon markets”. Although there is considerable scepticism about the effectiveness of carbon pricing on innovation and decarbonisation this was, at last, something tangible. The rules governing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement had not been finalised. Unagreed issues included how to prevent double-counting in the market for carbon credits; whether there should be a reduction in new credits (i.e., a cut the carbon emission allowance); and how many old (Kyoto Protocol) credits should be carried over into the new system. The final agreement solved most of these and may be the most important of the conference’s official outcomes.

tralac Blog

Was Glasgow a Cop Out?

Even before the ink on the Glasgow Climate Pact had yet dried, commentators were scrambling to decide whether the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), hosted by the United Kingdom in Glasgow in early November had been a ‘success’ or a ‘failure’. Most of the commentary was far from positive.

Supporting transition – the matter of incentives, supply and demand

Europe and the USA got rich on the back of coal fired industries, and China is still doing so. Unsurprisingly, coal rich developing nations also see it as an asset, and need incentives to change their patterns of use.

Should farmers be worried about the “Methane Pledge”?

Methane is one of the most seriously misunderstood of GHGs; listening to popular discussions one would think the problem was rooted in livestock, and would be solved by having the world go vegan; neither is true.

Making sense of the COP26 agenda

How should a rational observer approach COP26? It tempting to follow Gramsci and say, with “pessimism of the intellect but optimism of the will”. Pessimism because so few of the GHG problem nations are delivering on their Paris Accord undertakings, but optimism that they will get things right in the future.

What are the costs of “the end of coal”?

On 3 November, the UK released a report stating that 190 participants across the world had committed themselves to phase out coal power in economies in the 2030s for major economies and 2040s for the rest of the world, among other things. It later emerged that only 40 countries had signed.

COP 26’s collective action problem

Collective action only works where actors pursue and defend their interests in negotiations, compromising where necessary to avoid derailing the process. But COP 26 does not look like the most robust possible process and the agenda, as spelled out by the host country and its allies, is not universally accepted.

Climate finance matters for COP 26

Going into COP 26 this year, less-developed countries were concerned that the US$100 billion per year climate finance pledge made in 2009 had not been met in the preceding 12 years and their disillusionment could prove to be both a hurdle to the seriousness of their future climate commitments and a distraction at the conference.


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